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Featured image for Three Toho Classics and the Work of Sci-Fi Illustrator Shigeru KomatsuzakiBackground image for Three Toho Classics and the Work of Sci-Fi Illustrator Shigeru Komatsuzaki

Three Toho Classics and the Work of Sci-Fi Illustrator Shigeru Komatsuzaki

  I’d heard of Japanese science fiction illustrator Shigeru Komatsuzaki before, since he’s mentioned in Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa (Wesleyan University Press,…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Hibari Misora and the Last “Sannin Musume” MusicalBackground image for Hibari Misora and the Last “Sannin Musume” Musical

Hibari Misora and the Last “Sannin Musume” Musical

Japanese actress and recording star Hibari Misora made a series of four musicals with two other singing stars, Chiemi Eri and Izumi Yukimura, who were known collectively as…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for National Classic Movie Day: In Celebration of National Screen ServiceBackground image for National Classic Movie Day: In Celebration of National Screen Service

National Classic Movie Day: In Celebration of National Screen Service

May 16 is National Classic Movie Day. I thought I’d pay a little tribute to an organization called National Screen Service that used to supply movie posters, still…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for In Memoriam: Jimmy Wang Yu, Pioneering Kung Fu StarBackground image for In Memoriam: Jimmy Wang Yu, Pioneering Kung Fu Star

In Memoriam: Jimmy Wang Yu, Pioneering Kung Fu Star

Jimmy Wang Yu died in Taipei on April 5, 2022. (He was 78 or 80, depending on different sources.) He was an international kung fu star in the…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for RISE AGAINST THE SWORD (1966): When Toshiro Mifune No Longer Needed the Seven SamuraiBackground image for RISE AGAINST THE SWORD (1966): When Toshiro Mifune No Longer Needed the Seven Samurai

RISE AGAINST THE SWORD (1966): When Toshiro Mifune No Longer Needed the Seven Samurai

On what would have been Toshiro Mifune’s 102nd birthday (I covered his centennial in three blog posts in 2020), I look at a lesser-known historical drama starring Mifune,…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for In Memoriam: Akira Takarada, Godzilla’s Favorite Co-starBackground image for In Memoriam: Akira Takarada, Godzilla’s Favorite Co-star

In Memoriam: Akira Takarada, Godzilla’s Favorite Co-star

Japanese actor Akira Takarada passed away in Japan on March 14 at the age of 87. He had a long career stretching back to 1954, ending only with…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Artwork in Hong Kong Movies, Part 1: Shaw Bros.Background image for Artwork in Hong Kong Movies, Part 1: Shaw Bros.

Artwork in Hong Kong Movies, Part 1: Shaw Bros.

The Shaw Bros. studio in Hong Kong made the most lavish productions to come out of the Hong Kong film industry in the 1960s and ’70s. Whether they…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Ten Years of Blogging: A Journey through My PassionsBackground image for Ten Years of Blogging: A Journey through My Passions

Ten Years of Blogging: A Journey through My Passions

Last month marked the tenth anniversary of this blog. I’ve viewed hundreds, if not thousands, of films, TV episodes and documentaries for it and covered a wide array…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Mikio Naruse: Adventures on Harumi IslandBackground image for Mikio Naruse: Adventures on Harumi Island

Mikio Naruse: Adventures on Harumi Island

I got a pleasant surprise recently when I watched Mikio Naruse’s AUTUMN HAS ALREADY STARTED (1960). At a key point in the narrative, the two child protagonists living…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Happy Birthday, Lisa Lu! The Veteran Actress Turns 95Background image for Happy Birthday, Lisa Lu! The Veteran Actress Turns 95

Happy Birthday, Lisa Lu! The Veteran Actress Turns 95

Actress Lisa Lu turns 95 today, January 19, 2022. I’ve written about her four previous times, the last one being a celebration on her 90th birthday five years…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Silent Naruse: STREET WITHOUT END (1934)Background image for Silent Naruse: STREET WITHOUT END (1934)

Silent Naruse: STREET WITHOUT END (1934)

Last year I saw eleven films directed by Mikio Naruse, raising to 24 the number of films I’ve seen by him. So far this year I’ve seen two…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Anime Movies 2021: Pokémon, Doraemon and Pretty CureBackground image for Anime Movies 2021: Pokémon, Doraemon and Pretty Cure

Anime Movies 2021: Pokémon, Doraemon and Pretty Cure

The best new anime features I saw in 2021 were the newest movie spin-offs of three long-running TV anime franchises, Pokémon, Doraemon, and Pretty Cure (aka Precure). I…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Animated Literary Adaptations: From Robin Hood to the MoonBackground image for Animated Literary Adaptations: From Robin Hood to the Moon

Animated Literary Adaptations: From Robin Hood to the Moon

I have a box set of “Classic Adventures,” consisting of ten 48-minute animated adaptations of classic literary adventures, nine based on novels and one based on a true-life…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Deanna Durbin: In MemoriamBackground image for Deanna Durbin: In Memoriam
Featured image for Dean Martin: King of Cool (2021)Background image for Dean Martin: King of Cool (2021)

Dean Martin: King of Cool (2021)

“Dean Martin: King of Cool” is a new documentary about the celebrated actor, comedian, singer, movie/TV/recording star and member of the legendary Rat Pack. Directed by Tom Donahue,…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

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Charles Bronson Centennial

He was an iconic action star who was one of The Magnificent Seven, one of The Dirty Dozen and one of three who made good The Great Escape.…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

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Japanese Comics: Discovering Manga in the 1990s

American comic book publishers started releasing Japanese manga titles in English on a regular basis sometime in the late 1980s. Some of the earliest to appear were the…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for “Storm Riders” – From Comic Book to Live-Action to AnimationBackground image for “Storm Riders” – From Comic Book to Live-Action to Animation

“Storm Riders” – From Comic Book to Live-Action to Animation

“Storm Riders” tells a long and intricate tale of the intertwining destinies of two young martial artists, Wind and Cloud, in the rarefied, mythical universe of competing martial…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

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Bruce Lee Comics (1994)

In looking through boxes of comic books I purchased in the 1990s, I found five issues of “Bruce Lee,” a comic series from 1994, published by Malibu Comics.…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for VICE SQUAD (1953) – The Real “Dragnet”Background image for VICE SQUAD (1953) – The Real “Dragnet”

VICE SQUAD (1953) – The Real “Dragnet”

  VICE SQUAD (1953) is a sharply-directed, fast-paced black-and-white crime thriller that follows a full shift in a day’s work for a police captain in the Vice Squad…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Life Meets GodzillaBackground image for Life Meets Godzilla

Life Meets Godzilla

Life Magazine recently published a special issue devoted to Godzilla, which I found in the magazine rack at my local Walgreen’s. After thumbing through it, I decided to…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Deanna Durbin and Her Japanese FansBackground image for Deanna Durbin and Her Japanese Fans

Deanna Durbin and Her Japanese Fans

I was watching THE WHOLE FAMILY WORKS (1939), a Japanese film directed by Mikio Naruse about a family with seven kids trying to make ends meet in contemporary…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for LIKE THE CLOUDS, LIKE THE WIND (1990) – Anime Tale of Village Girl-Turned-EmpressBackground image for LIKE THE CLOUDS, LIKE THE WIND (1990) – Anime Tale of Village Girl-Turned-Empress

LIKE THE CLOUDS, LIKE THE WIND (1990) – Anime Tale of Village Girl-Turned-Empress

  In 1993, I bought a VHS tape, an animated feature in Japanese with no subtitles, from a dealer at a comics show and it was pitched to…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Japanese Bus Rides: MR. THANK YOU and HIDEKO, THE BUS CONDUCTRESSBackground image for Japanese Bus Rides: MR. THANK YOU and HIDEKO, THE BUS CONDUCTRESS

Japanese Bus Rides: MR. THANK YOU and HIDEKO, THE BUS CONDUCTRESS

Two of the most charming Japanese films I’ve ever seen are about bus rides in rural Japan in the pre-war era. MR. THANK YOU (1936), directed by Hiroshi…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for “I will never grow tired of hearing stories told” – Quotes from Orson WellesBackground image for “I will never grow tired of hearing stories told” – Quotes from Orson Welles

“I will never grow tired of hearing stories told” – Quotes from Orson Welles

The great actor-writer-director Orson Welles would have turned 106 today, May 6, 2021. I did a centennial piece on him six years ago. Thanks to the release of…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for 50 Years in Times Square: Kurosawa and his Western RemakesBackground image for 50 Years in Times Square: Kurosawa and his Western Remakes

50 Years in Times Square: Kurosawa and his Western Remakes

On April 8, 1971, 50 years ago today, I made my first trip to see a Japanese movie on the big screen. It was Akira Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Gamera, Hercules, Ninjas and Giant Robots: American International Television, 1964-1970Background image for Gamera, Hercules, Ninjas and Giant Robots: American International Television, 1964-1970

Gamera, Hercules, Ninjas and Giant Robots: American International Television, 1964-1970

I recently watched VOYAGE INTO SPACE (1970) on Amazon Prime, a feature compilation of episodes of “Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot,” an English-dubbed live-action Japanese series that…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Hollywood and Japan: Betty Boop Crosses CulturesBackground image for Hollywood and Japan: Betty Boop Crosses Cultures

Hollywood and Japan: Betty Boop Crosses Cultures

I recently watched a Japanese film from 1934, an early talkie called OUR NEIGHBOR MISS YAE (TONARI NO YAE-CHAN), directed by Yasujiro Shimazu, about two young brothers, a…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Yo-kai Watch: A Clever Anime Mix of 2-D, 3-D and Live-ActionBackground image for Yo-kai Watch: A Clever Anime Mix of 2-D, 3-D and Live-Action

Yo-kai Watch: A Clever Anime Mix of 2-D, 3-D and Live-Action

A movie shown in Japan in early 2020, MASHIN SENTAI KIRAMAGER EPISODE ZERO, introduced the year’s super sentai season (the basis for Power Rangers), “Mashin Sentai Kiramager” (still…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Gamera, Frankenstein, Sabata and Zatoichi: The Genre Films of 1970Background image for Gamera, Frankenstein, Sabata and Zatoichi: The Genre Films of 1970

Gamera, Frankenstein, Sabata and Zatoichi: The Genre Films of 1970

50 years ago, in 1970, neighborhood theaters offered quite a varied landscape of cinematic fare, although it took me some time to find it all. I managed to…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for From Wake Island to Gamera to Perry MasonBackground image for From Wake Island to Gamera to Perry Mason

From Wake Island to Gamera to Perry Mason

In 1942, Hollywood made WAKE ISLAND to commemorate one of the earliest battles in the Pacific War. As depicted in the film, the American marines on Wake Island,…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Naruse’s FLOWING (1956): The Fall of a Geisha HouseholdBackground image for Naruse’s FLOWING (1956): The Fall of a Geisha Household

Naruse’s FLOWING (1956): The Fall of a Geisha Household

The more films by Mikio Naruse I see, the more I feel he belongs in the pantheon of great Japanese directors alongside the three I have long considered…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Happy 70th Birthday, Angela Mao–Kung Fu Diva SupremeBackground image for Happy 70th Birthday, Angela Mao–Kung Fu Diva Supreme

Happy 70th Birthday, Angela Mao–Kung Fu Diva Supreme

On Sept. 20, 2020, Angela Mao turns 70 years old. She remains, in my estimation, the greatest female kung fu star ever. I re-watched two of her best…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for OPERATION BOTTLENECK – A Hollywood WWII Film with Asian Female CommandosBackground image for OPERATION BOTTLENECK – A Hollywood WWII Film with Asian Female Commandos

OPERATION BOTTLENECK – A Hollywood WWII Film with Asian Female Commandos

Friday, July 24th, marked the 95th birthday of Japanese-American actress Miiko Taka, who is, happily, still with us. She is best known for co-starring with Marlon Brando in…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Pan Jinlian: The Notorious Femme Fatale of Chinese LiteratureBackground image for Pan Jinlian: The Notorious Femme Fatale of Chinese Literature

Pan Jinlian: The Notorious Femme Fatale of Chinese Literature

While binge-watching Hong Kong movies during the coronavirus lockdown, I reached onto my shelf of Cathay releases and pulled out the two-part movie, THE STORY OF THREE LOVES…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

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Ray Harryhausen Centennial

Monday, June 29, 2020, marks the centennial of special effects genius Ray Harryhausen. I was lucky to have seen many of his films as a child when they…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for THE MAGNIFICENT SCOUNDRELS: If PARASITE had been a Hong Kong movie from 1991Background image for THE MAGNIFICENT SCOUNDRELS: If PARASITE had been a Hong Kong movie from 1991

THE MAGNIFICENT SCOUNDRELS: If PARASITE had been a Hong Kong movie from 1991

I’ve been going through my shelves and found a number of previously unseen Hong Kong movies from the 1990s on import DVDs purchased in Chinatown stores earlier this…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Featured image for Setsuko Hara CentennialBackground image for Setsuko Hara Centennial

Setsuko Hara Centennial

The great Japanese actress, Setsuko Hara, would have turned 100 today, June 17, 2020. She died five years ago at the age of 95. She’s most famous for…

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog